Empowering the Voice of Young People

Topics: Manitoba, Youth, Indigenous Communities
Jason Small | May 27, 2020

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Throughout the 2019-20 year, the Red Cross, with support from community-based staff, delivered Youth Action Planning workshops in nine of 10 identified communities. The scheduled visit to the tenth community, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, was postponed due to a death in the community.

The purpose of this workshop is for youth to identify successful health and safety programs in the community, dream about what could be, and then identify achievable steps to make those dreams a reality. Building on the community action plans that have already been developed, the youth workshop ensures that the community priorities reflect the needs of the youth and enhances their capacity to be involved in advocacy at a leadership level.

More than 250 youth aged 15-21 participated in the workshops and follow-up training sessions. The participants are young people who care about having a safe and respectful environment at school and in the community and want to make a difference.

In each community, an action plan from the youth perspective was developed. The diagram details the various themes identified by youth and became focal points of their action plans. Most of the themes stem from a desire to create safe spaces in which to connect.